DOJ Juvenile Justice Unit Faces Big Staff Cuts

The Trump administration plan to cut thousands of Division of Justice (DOJ) positions might mean a 25 % or far more reduction in the currently small 60-individual federal company concentrated on juvenile justice, reviews the Chronicle of Social Transform.

Marcy Mistrett of the Campaign for Youth Justice mentioned the measurement of the proposed cuts and their possible effect on the Business of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) have been “alarming, given the total of operate and written content experience essential to correctly administer the duties of the OJJDP workplace. ”

She extra: “It is also inconsistent with the path of Congress, [which] has approved greater stages for the software supplied its imminent reauthorization.”

The news will come as advocates operate feverishly to pass the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), a 44-calendar year-outdated law that trades federal grants for compliance with essential juvenile justice benchmarks.

And it follows on the heels of other moves by the DOJ to de-emphasize the earlier administration’s juvenile justice reform efforts. In October, the division issued staff of the OJJDP with “language guidance” regulations suggesting that the word “improvement (or identical rewording)” swap all mentions of “reform.”

Staff have been also directed to explain the Obama-period “Smart on Juvenile Justice” initiative, introduced in 2014, as “system advancement work”—replacing primary language that explained the purpose of the software as an work to “identify and employ reforms to guarantee federal laws are enforced reasonably and competently.

The Justice Division aims to make the cuts above the up coming 18 months by way of attrition, relying on retirements and early retirement buyouts. If it will come to layoffs, the probably scenario will be a “last in-1st out” plan.

The OJJDP oversees money related to juvenile justice, mentoring and efforts to support lacking and exploited kids. At the coronary heart of the company is compliance with the JJDPA, which was passed in 1974 and lays out main benchmarks for juvenile justice tactics, this sort of as not locking up youth for committing status offenses, crimes like truancy that would not be a criminal offense for an grownup.

One particular advocate mentioned that staffing cuts would prompt the company to “greatly loosen enforcement” of JJPDA compliance, in particular the law’s requirement that states look at disproportionate minority involvement in the justice system.

In an early appraisal of the Trump administration technique to juvenile justice, Barry Krisberg, a criminologist at the College of California, Berkeley, warned that proof-centered methods would get “less traction” –placing far more of the load to undertake reform on states.

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